Issue 8 – Lyon

Marianne Lyon

My First Communion Picture

On that sacramental day
I pose in the white of starched dress
perfect smile, eyes shine, pleated veil
I hold a miniature missal
prayer beads drip from my thumbs
backdrop of saints stained on high altar
gilded words swirl around them like haloes

Our walking has a quiet to it
brushing past wooden pews
eyes to the floor glistening like a river
we are like words in a sacred sentence
flowing like angels to the still altar

classroom lessons find their way into my steps—
how to kneel at the rail
close eyes reverently
receive the host
chew gently barely moving lips
whisper incantations

I find my way back to kneel
consider my First Communion
not knowing what communion means
only that it’s a profound moment
I tried to picture God
in a cloud
dying on the cross

visions of last night
swoosh in
eyes wide open
new dress hanging on the door
playing with cousins after mass
dad’s accordion squeezing out familiar tunes
aunts and uncles dancing the polka in our kitchen
did they talk to God on their First Communion?

where do answers to questions hide?
sometimes writing verse
I wonder if my searching for words
has been about understanding my first communion
praying mysteries into being through the alchemy of poetry